I would say I generally think captialism is a good idea, but after my experience on Tuesday night I am beginning to wonder. Does any of this sound familar?
Ten years ago I bought a policy (call it policy 1) with financial organisation A. It was a ten-year one – paying out just a few days ago (Little did anyone predict a global financial crisis at the time…but that is superfluous to the story).
About six months ago organisation A got gobbled-up by organisation B. They wrote to me to tell me the details and that, as far as I was concerned, nothing had changed.
A few months later, they wrote to me again, asking what I wanted to do with the funds from the now-maturing policy. I wrote back to say that I wanted them transferred to another policy (call it policy 2) I happened to have with organisation B.
Then I get a letter from B advising me that part of organisation B has been flogged off to organisation C. This includes the bit that looked after policy 2, but not the bit that looked after the now-maturing policy 1, which remains with B.
Everything has gone quiet about the maturing policy, so I phoned B. The number I had didn’t work, but I got a referral to a new number, which I phoned, which turned out to be C. Organisation C was very kind, and gave me the number of B’s new offices.
I phoned B and they said yes my policy 1 had matured and I would have to talk with C, because that’s who now owned policy 2, where policy 1’s proceeds (that remaining after the credit crunch) should have been put. C, however, said that since they didn’t take over the policy 1, it was B’s business not their’s. At this point I gave up for the evening, after no doubt helping lift NZ Telecom’s share price a bit by several international phonecalls to the UK.
So, to summarise, my finances seem to be locked in some quantum state, that can be described as neither policy 1 or 2, but some combination of the two, located in some superposition of organisations B and C. This entangled financial state desperately needs some collapsing into an eigenfunction – namely my bank account, though getting it to do that seems like it will be a bit of a mission.